The first openly transgender officer in the U.S. military and his anesthesiologist wife have been charged criminally for allegedly plotting to leak highly sensitive healthcare data about American military personnel to Russia.
The Department of Justice said in a Thursday press release that Maj. Jamie Lee Henry and his wife Anna Gabrielian were charged "with conspiracy and for the disclosure of individually identifiable health information ('IIHI'), related to their efforts to assist Russia in connection with the conflict in Ukraine."
Henry came out as transgender in 2015 in an article published by Buzzfeed.
Henry was accused of working with Gabrielian, an anesthesiologist at Johns Hopkins, to give medical records to Russia on patients at Fort Bragg and Johns Hopkins, according to the DOJ indictment. The Rockville, Maryland couple was dealing with an undercover FBI agent posing as a Russian embassy staffer after Gabrielien had allegedly reached out to the Russian embassy. Gabrielian reportedly claimed she was motivated by patriotism for Russia.
If convicted, Henry and Gabrielian face a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for the conspiracy, and a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for each count of disclosing IIHI, the DOJ said.
An excerpt from a 2015 Brightest Young Things (BYT) interview with Henry shows he received extensive support from the military after coming out as transgender:
BYT: You’ve noted how supportive your commanding officer and soldiers you worked alongside were when you initially came out to them (before you went fully public). Has being publicly out changed that dynamic, or added any pressure or harassment from soldiers who weren’t previously familiar with you?
Henry: You know, without the military, I would likely have been homeless, become a sex worker, or even committed suicide – what many transgender women unfortunately experience without the social and medical support I’ve received. I know it’s probably hard to believe that I actually considered such things in 2012, but it was in 2012 during a brief stint of homelessness that my commander provided me housing, got me to rehab which led to a lot of healing and self-awareness, and tipped me off to a stellar lawyer. Whatever harassment I’ve received within the military has been nothing compared to the struggle of daily life as a trans person outside the military. Then again, I have a lot of privilege within the military community as both a Major and a physician.
Henry: As I mentioned before, I have been forced along the way to be very vulnerable with a large number of people in my work environment. Being openly transgender has only been an extension of what I had already experienced the previous six years. From day to day I really haven’t felt much harassment at all within the military framework from civilian employees or other active duty staff. There is a lot of silence, but there is also sincere support undergirding many of my interactions.
On pg. 7, Henry is quoted as telling the agent, “…until the United States actually declares war against Russia, I’m able to help as much as I want. At that point, I’ll have some ethical issues I have to work through.”Wife replied: “You’ll work through those ethical issues.” pic.twitter.com/Y7XjavM88m — Paul Gessler (@PaulGessler) September 29, 2022